Canadian County Sheriff’s secure garage moves closer to reality

After months of planning and preparing, a secure garage for the Canadian County sheriff’s office could soon become a reality.

The Canadian County commissioners voted Monday to allow the sheriff’s office to seek bids to construct the 3,000-square-foot sally port.

A sally port is a secure garage that allows law enforcement personnel to transport prisoners and evidence safely.

Currently, prisoners are transferred to and from the county jail in the open air.

Sheriff Chris West requested the sally port last year, and offered to foot the bill for the project through his asset forfeiture fund.

The project is expected to cost between $500,000 and $600,000.

West said the sally port will be large enough to provide needed storage for the department.

Property storage, for now, is placed in secure containers behind the sheriff’s department.

West said bids for the project will be due June 4, with officials hoping to award the contract a week later.

“The architects say we should be in it by November,” he said.

“It is a safety issue,” he said.

Meanwhile, the commissioners voted to approve temporary appropriations for the 2019 fiscal year.

The move allows the county to continue operating after June 30, which is the end of the fiscal year.

It appropriates 50 percent of the current budget.

The 2019 budget will not be completed until October.

Also approved was a letter to the Oklahoma Environmental Management Agency and Waste Connections warning their operators about placing metal trash containers in the county’s rights-of-way.

Commissioners said the issue causes problems during significant weather events, such as recent heavy rains.

Two of the commissioners said improperly placed trash bins created flooding concerns.

The letter serves as a reminder that it is illegal to place the trash containers in the rights-of-way.

In other action, the commissioners approved:

  • Changes for several departments related to requisitioning and receiving officers. The changes were needed after the county’s chief of staff, John Johnson, resigned in April. Johnson was expected to remain on the job through the end of May to help with the transition to a new chief of staff. However, the commissioners said they wanted more time to decide the future of the position, and allowed Johnson to leave his position early;
  • Approved two contract with Reed’s Cleaning Service to handle janitorial work for several buildings. The contracts are for $3,995 per month to clean the administration building, the assessor building, the workforce building and the judicial building. The second contract is for $2,500 per month and involves the court clerk’s office, the district attorney’s office, the election board and the OSU Extension office;
  • Gave approval to advertise for six-month bids for July 1 through Dec. 31;
  • Approved contracts for road-crossing permits for Brickman Fastline, Soar Energy Solutions, Enlink Midstream and Cimarex Energy;
  • Approved payment to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to pay for rights-of-way acquisition for a project near the Arapho Creek road-widening project. The vote was 2-to-1 with Commissioner Jack Stewart casting the dissenting vote;
  • Approved a proclamation declaring this week to be Oklahoma Home and Community Education Week.

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